NNA – The year 2016 was an eventful one. But, perhaps the prime event of the year was the election of General Michel Aoun as President, after a two and a half year vacancy at Baabda Palace. This event was followed by forming a new Cabinet headed by Saad Hariri, which won the vote of confidence two months after formation.
On the security level, security apparatuses craftily and accurately dismantled numerous terrorist cells, and arrested many of the masterminds behind them. A number of drug laboratories were seized and many drug traffickers were detained at the airport and seaports.
Tourism flourished in 2016, as festivals bustled with international artists. Literary and artistic exhibitions were high on the tourism agenda of Lebanon as well.
The art world lost many legends of the golden age of music such as Melhem Barakat, Samir Yazbek, and Mouna Meraachli. Actors Ali Diab and Joseph Nanou also passed away, leaving a legacy that would forever keep them alive.
Internationally, terrorism reigned over 2016. Suicide bombers and car bombs targeted people wherever they may be, even on a plane, in a church, and at a mosque. Terrorists devised new menacing ways to hurt people, and mass running-over of innocent civilians by trucks emerged in France and Germany. But, the most heinous of these terror acts were the booby-trapping of children and burning of hostages.
Air-crash accidents and attacks also occurred in 2016. The planes ranged from military to civilian.
Years go by and the cycle of events repeats itself. The National News Agency wishes its followers a happy New Year. Following is a roundabout of the major events of 2016:
– Snowstorm hits Lebanon and snow reaches 250 meters in a number of areas.
– Saudi Arabia executes 47 people convicted of terrorism, including cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
– Attack targets KSA Embassy in Tehran.
– Former Minister Fouad Boutros passes away.
– 14 kilos of cocaine seized in luggage of Lebanese man coming from Brazil.
– Saudi Arabia announces severance of diplomatic relations with Iran.
– Resistance announces Martyr Samir Kuntar’s group detonation of an Israeli patrol, enemy responds by shelling a number of areas.
– Sudan severs diplomatic relations with Iran.
– Number of ISIS militants die after targeting the Lebanese Army near Khirbet Daoud.
– Bahrain announces suspension of flights to and from Iran.
– Iranian diplomatic mission members leave Saudi Arabia.
– Parliament postpones 34th presidential election session.
– Standoff between “We want Accountability” activists and the security forces in front of the Central Inspection building.
– Iran prohibits entry of all KSA products. Constitutional council re-appeals restoration of citizenship law.
– Somalia announces severing diplomatic ties with Iran.
– The Government of Japan has provides $ 2 million in support of host communities and displaced Syrians in Lebanon.
– Armed terrorists kill ISF member in Arsal.
– Artist Rafik Oueijan passes away.
– Security forces arrest key member involved in Burj Barajneh blast.
– 13th dialogue session takes place in Ein Teeneh.
– Four trucks deliver aid to Madaya, Fou’aa, and Kefraya.
– 22nd dialogue session takes place between Hezbollah and Future Movement.
– Blast rocks “Sultan Ahmed” Square in central Istanbul leaving scores dead and wounded.
– Lebanese abducted in Libya over financial issues.
– Military Court of Cassation approves request to free former minister Michel Samaha. Protesters cut roads in a number of areas.
– “We Want Accountability” activists stage sit-in outside the Grand Serail, Al-Azarieh building, and inside the Ministry of Environment. Security Forces arrest a number of activists.
– Beirut roads cut in protest against the liberation of Samaha.
– Implementation of “humanitarian operations” kick off in Syria.
– Terrorist attack targets hotel in Burkina Faso, leaves large number of tourist casualties.
– Civil Movement stages sit-in in front of Quarantina plant.
– Implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran begins.
– US President Barack Obama discloses before Congress decisions to lift sanctions on Iran.
– “Free Patriotic Movement” holds internal elections.
– Sherine Noujaim announced first Lebanese to qualify for the Summer Olympics of 2016.
– “Lebanese Forces” adopts the nomination “Change and Reform” bloc leader, MP Michel Aoun, for the Lebanese presidency.
– Airport Customs seizes 100 kilograms of cocaine worth LBP 2.5 billion.
– Historic slump of Russian currency exceeds 80 rubbles per dollar.
– Swedish man arrested in Beirut in line with quality police operation in Sweden to arrest cocaine smuggling network.
– Macedonia temporarily closes its borders with Greece in the face of immigrants.
– Navigation and fishing stopped in a number of ports due to massive storms in Lebanon.
– Number of civil defence volunteers drive to Syria after not being granted full-time jobs.
– 1300 grams of narcotic substances confiscated at Beirut airport.
– Head of the Kuwaiti parliament visits Beirut.
– Kataeb Party Head, MP Sami Gemayel, announces that the party will elect neither MP Michel Aoun nor MP Suleiman Franjieh for the Lebanese presidency.
– Soldier arrested on charges of belonging to Daesh.
– Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi meets Pope Francis in Rome.
– Jeitta’s lower cave closed after the death of an Egyptian tourist in an accident.
– Schools and institutes close as storm “Talasa” hits Lebanon.
– Presidential debate takes place between House Speaker, Nabih Berri, and “Lebanese Forces” leader, Samir Geagea.
– Airport Customs seizes 5 kg of Captagon sent to Sudan.
– Refugee kills Lebanese-Swedish employee from Kal’aa in Marjayoun.
– French, Iranian presidents discuss the Lebanese presidency dossier.
– National Dialogue Party convenes.
– Suicide attacks in Nigeria leaves scores dead and wounded.
– Civil Defence Rescue teams pull at least a hundred cars stuck under the snow on the road to Kafr Silwan – Tarshish.
– Cabinet approves the military appointments in the military council.
– Iran signs an agreement in Paris to purchase 118, “Airbus” aircrafts.
– Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announces his party’s support to President Michel Aoun’s presidential candidacy.
– German police: Grenade tossed at refugee center southwest of the country.
– Israeli enemy works remove trees from occupied Zebdine plantations.
– Ministry of Health announces first death from malaria.
– Dozens killed and wounded in brawl between two families in Tripoli.
– Syrian Syrian negotiations kickstart in Geneva.
– UNESCO registers Christ Baptism Bathtub in Jordan River on World Heritage List.
– Release of five Czechs who were kidnapped on Kefraya-West Bekaa Road last July.
– Civil Defence volunteers cut off several roads, demand full-time contracts .
– US Envoy James Albrian in Lebanon.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam chairs Lebanon’s delegation at Syria Support Conference in London
– Arrest of more than 20 terrorists in army raid in Arsal outskirts
– Suspension of Syrian negotiations in Geneva.
– Ambassadors of super power countries, Arab states and European Union meet with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi and call for presidential elections.
– Raids in Germany and arrest of two Algerians suspected of belonging to Daash.
– Arrest at head of department at airport on charges of public funds’ embezzlement.
– Release of Lebanese man detained in Czech Republic in 2014 on charges of arms’ smuggling
– Kuwaiti freed in Ta’nayel after being kidnapped from his ranch in Kab Elias.
– “We Want Accountablility” and Civil Society activists set up tents in Riad Solh in preparation for their move.
– European Union pledges at London conference to provide three billion euros to Syrians in 2016
– “We Want Accountability” activists stage sit-in, clash with ecurity forces.
– Civil Defence rescues around hundred vehicles blocked by snow on Tarshish-Zahle Road
– Two explosive devices dismantled in Nejmeh Square in Tripoli.
– Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi signs Lebanese flag in solidarity with civil defense rights.
– 35th round of session to elect president of the republic postponed.
– Clashes between “Nusra Front” and “Daesh” in Arsal outskirts.
– Closed door meeting among Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi, MPs Gilbert Zouein and Antoine Zahra, former Minister Yusuf Saade.
– Civil defense volunteers consecrated full timers by the Council of Ministers.
– Enemy patrol breaches withdrawal line and pulls out 100 head of cattle to the occupied territories.
– Israeli enemy releases captured herd of cattle.
– Civil movement refuses waste exportation, announces escalation.
– Lawsuits filed against seven people of “Mohammed Saem” Group on charges of planning to set up an Islamic emirate.
– Army closes illegal crossings in ‘Housh Sayyid Ali’ in Hermel.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam participates in inaugural ceremony of “Munich Conference on Global Security”.
– Historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in Havana.
– Casualties and damages at Nusra Front centers in Alzab and Wadi al-Kheil.
– Arrest of a Lebanese for his involvementin the transfer of one of the perpetrators of the double suicide bombing in Burj Barajneh.
– Tension in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp at dawn due to personal braul.
– Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrives in Beirut to participate in martyrdom commemoration of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Biel, announces understanding with MP Sleiman Franjieh.
– Killed and wounded in trade of fire between people from two families in Bekaa’s Taybeh.
– Enemy corrodes olive groves and oak orchards in the occupied Zibdeen.
– Arrest of the perpetrator of Cherokee car bombing in Haret Hreik in 2014.
– Army closes all illegal crossings, removes earthen barricades from Msharfeh region far-reaching to al-Qasr town.
– Death of Egyptian writer Mohamed Hassanein Heikal.
– |”We Want Accountability” activists gather outside the house of Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
– Syrian President issues general amnesty for those indicted with ‘fleeing military service’.
-Pope winds up historic five-day visit to Mexico.
– Exam winners at Civil Service Council stage sit in.
– “You Stink” Campaign asks PM to set up contingency committee under his chairmanship to agree on an all-out waste plan.
– Sit in by Palestinian refugee camps locals to protest UNRWA services’ reduction.
– “We Want Accountability” calls for opening official probe and summoning Chinook company representatives.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam in a statement: “We received with great regret Saudi Arabia’s sudden decision to halt aids assigned to arm and equip the army and internal security forces”.
-Discovery of Roman ruins in Khraibeh.
– Prime Minister Saad Hariri holds Hezbollah and Free Patriotic Movement responsibility of Saudi Arabia’s decision to halt aid.
– “We Want Accountability” activists call for holding those involved in waste deportation deal accountable, stage sit-in at Riad Solh Square.
– Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi submits resignation.
– March 14 leaders meet at Central House.
– A delegation from Progressive Socialist Party visits Meerab dispatched by MP Walid Jumblatt.
– Berri heads to Brussels to attend plenary session of European Parliament.
– Army apprehends Daash militant Ahmed Amon in Arsal.
– Clashes in Arsal between army and terrorists.
-A meeting between President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and MP Walid Jumblatt underlines importance of ties with Saudi Arabia and need to elect a president democratically.
– Denouncement and solidarity with Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri says: There exists one segment hurting the Lebanese.
– More than 100,000 immigrants enter Europe via Mediterranean in 2016.
– Hollande, Merkel, Cameron and Obama deliberate over phone on Syria.
– Closure of several UNRWA offices in Palestinian refugee camps.
-EDL daily workers storm into 13th floor of EDL institution, call for consecrating them full timers.
– Russian army announces start of negotiations on cease-fire with Syrian opposition groups.
– Qatari Foreign Ministry urges its nationals to leave Lebanon.
– “We Want Accountability” activists stage sit in outside the Central Inspection, erect tent in vicinity
– Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow does not support Assad but shares goal of combating terrorism.
– A meeting between Change and Reform bloc head MP Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces delegation.
– Families of Kidnapped military stage sit in outside Casino du Liban.
– Fadel Abdul Rahman Shamdar, known as Fadel Shaker, sentenced to 5 year imprisonment and stripped of civil rights.
– NASA: Discovering of new dwarf planet in the solar system.
– Bomb tossed in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, use of knives among Palestinians in al-Jaleel refugee camp.
-Tents for Syrian refugees set ablaze in Housh Rafiqa, civili defense fighter wounded.
– Death of 125 people by yellow fever in Angola.
– Russian military declares pause in bombing operations in Syria in implementation of ceasefire.
– 9 dead and 13 wounded in a suicide bombing near the Ministry of Defense in Kabul.
– Protests in Msharafieh and Ghoubeiri at the backdrop of mimicking Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a television program.
– Bombs tossed in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
– 12 Fatqa closed door meeting by Notre Dame Gathering to look into Christian Lebanese options in light of regional crisis.
– Pope Francis calls on Europeans for equitable distribution of refugees’ burden.
– Rahi from Rome: With the disruption of presidency lies the sin of selfishness, conceit and narrow interests
– Kataeb Party students stage sit in outside Grand Serail under the headline: “Lebanon is not a dump.”
-Army artillery shells terrorists’ movements in Ras Baalbek outskirts.
– Two Syrian military helicopters fly over Lebanese-Syrian borders.
– Two Israeli bulldozers carry out earthen works in the locality of Zibdeen on the outskirts of Kfar Shuba.
– More than 131,000 immigrants arrive in Europe via Mediterranean in 2016.
– Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders in Lebanon, calls for presidential elections: Ready to provide assistance in the waste dossier.
– Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) lists Hezbollah, terrorist organization.
– Mortar shells fall at the border line of Shebaa Farms due to enemy maneuver.
– Postponement of the 36th parliamentary session for the election of the President.
– Government Commissioner at the Military Tribunal Judge Saqr Saqr received from the Defense Minister a notice put forward by former President Michel Sleiman requesting investigation into Pierre Raffoul’s accusations against him during two media interviews- dated March and October 2015- of smuggling Shaker al-Absi.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Council of Ministers: No justification for the existence of the government if we fail to address the waste dossier.
– Prime Minister Saad Hariri: If we do not have a president and a new government, Lebanon will not be able to continue to face challenges.
– UNHCR: The number of unofficial camps do not exceed 1,942.
– 16 Killed in an armed attack on a retirement home Eden.
– Tunisian Foreign Ministry: Arab Interior Ministers Council did classify Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
– “We Want Accountability” campaign stages sit in outside the Central Inspection, distribute statements data in protest of what they called “the failure of the Central Inspection in holding accountable those who initial deals and steal public money.”
– 9 medals for Lebanon on the first day of Asian Kids Championship for Ski.
– Army teams rescue pedestrians lost in snow in al-Mkammel Mountain.
– Death of American programmer Ray Tomlinson inventor of email.
– Body of Daash militant found in Arsal outskirts with gunshot in his head.
– Lebanon scores victory in presidency of Arab Organization for Young Lawyers.
– Washington and Seoul begin their military maneuvers, Pyongyang threatens random nuclear attack.
– Arrest of slayer of martyr soldier Abbas Mudlij.
– The White House: Netanyahu refuseS to meet with Obama.
– Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test the launch of ballistic missiles.
– Fanar Road cut off with bags of waste to protest trash accumulation in streets.
– 16th round of National Dialogue meeting.
– Iran fires two Ballistic missiles in a new testing.
– Enemy forces fire smoke grenades eastern Mtollah, hostile patrols at northern end of Shabaa farms.
– Lebanese American military exercises in Kfarfalous.
– Smoke bombs dropped by enemy patrol off Kfer Kela.
– Civil Movement young men attempt to remove fence in vicinity of Grand Serail.
– Army martyr fallen during attack on Daesh post in Qaa outskirts, five terrorists killed.
– Minister Gebran Bassil represents Lebanon at the the Arab League Council session at the level of foreign ministers in Cairo under the chairmanship of Bahrain.
– Appointment of Ahmed Aboul Gheit Secretary General of the Arab League.
– Two Kuwaitis found murdered inside workers’ room in “Laredo” Restaurant in Kahaleh.
– Civil society activists stage sit in against the garage in Tripoli, call for comprehensive plan.
-Arrest of suspects in the murder of Kuwaitis.
– Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil from Cairo: Lebanon expresses reservation on the description of Hezbollah as terrorist for such term fails to comply with Arab anti-terrorism treaty.
– The Arab League declares “the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group” amidst reservation from Lebanon, and Iraq, and a remark from Algeria.
– Charred body found in the valely of al-Hamoudieh town in the Bekaa.
– Cabinet discusses waste crisis: Sorting from source improvising landfills and treatment centers with incentives for municipalities.
-Syrian confesses murdering compatriot and Kuwaiti in Doura.
– Demonstration by civil Movement activists at Riad Solh Square.
– Dozens killed and wounded in blast in Ankara.
– Terrorist attack targeting tourists in restaurants in Ivory Coast, including Lebanese.
– “Change and Reform” bloc head General Michel Aoun on March 14 anniversary: Doors are now open for all types of solutions.. We will not allow continued statuquo since 1999.
– Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel on “March 14” anniversary: It failed to add achievements to Cedar Revolution, except Syrian pullout.
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Regional powers exploited Syrian conflict to settle accounts.
– Arrival of the first batch of Russian fighters returning from Syria to Voronezh base.
– UN Special Envoy, American actress Angelina Jolie in Lebanon.
– Czech Republic accuses Turkey of blackmailing European Union on the issue of refugees.
– Spy device discovered off Blat town.
– Death of Arab thinker and Translator George Tarabishi.
– Death of former Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan.
– WHO: Ebola epidemic ends in Sierra Leone, stops its spread in West Africa.
– Russian Defense Ministry: 20 to 25 strikes per day in support of the Syrian army in Palmyra.
– Palestinian killed by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank after trying to stab a soldier.
– 62 killed in “Fly Dubai” plane crash southern Russia.
– Casualties in suicide bombing in Istanbul.
– Environment Minister: Eight thousand tons of waste lifted within 24 hours.
– 600 immigrants rescued and five others die off the Libyan coast.
– Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: Any aggression on Lebanon shall drive us to wage war without ceiling and red lines.
– “We Want Accountability” activists stage sit in outside Sukleen, clash between demonstrators and employees.
– Families of kidnapped servicemen demonstrate in Arsal.
– Army finds inside Jihad Mosque in Bab al-Tabbaneh a bag with hand grenades.
– President Barack Obama in Cuba.
– Casualties in Belgium terrorist attack.
– Army: One fleeing soldier killed after tossing grenade and opening fire on army unit.
-40 Qaeda members killed in US bombing of camp in Yemen.
– Postponement of 37th presidential election session.
– Ban Ki-moon in Lebanon.
– Roadside bomb targets army in Wadi Ata, one soldier killed and three others wounded.- -Death of Dutch visionary soccer Johan Cruyff.
– Ban Ki-moon: Lebanon hosts temporarily Syrians temporarily and the international community supports them.. We don’t aim to settle them anywhere but rather secure their return to their country in peace.
– Heavy gunfire emanates from the Syrian side towards a village in Wadi Khaled.
– Arrest of one person in Maaraboun with 15 pistols in his possession in addition to artifact worth half a million dollars.
– Casualties in suicide bombing at ports stadium south of Baghdad.
– Sit in at Costa Brava Beach in rejection of waste landfill.
– Symbolic gathering in front of Belgium Embassy in solidarity with the families of bombings victims, words call on international community to take a decision against terrorism.
– Raouche Rock illuminated with Belgian and Lebanese flags in solidarity with the victims of the Brussels attacks.
– White House and Capitol Hill closed after shooting from Capitol building, arrest of culprits.
– Hand grenade tossed in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, shooting in air.
– Heavy fighting between Nusra and Daash in eastern chain outskirts and the borders, two Lebanese amongst casualties.
– Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrives in Moscow.
– Hand grenade tossed in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp coupling with shooting.
– Enemy patrols along al-Ghajar axis till Wadi Asal coupling with reconnaissance overflights.
– British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrives in Beirut.
– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: The war in Syria inflicted damage worth $ 200 billion.
– Former PM Saad Hariri after meeting Lavrov: Our country and its institutions are passing through difficult phase.
– Death of Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid in heart attack in Miami.
– Clashes between protesters and police in Paris during protests against Labor Law amendment draft.
– Army receives three US military helicopters.
– Death of Hungarian writer, Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz.
– Scores dead and wounded in clashes in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
– People storm into the Middle East newspaper’s office in Ashrafieh Tower and smash its contents.
– Prime Minister Saad Hariri meets with Putin in Kremlin.
– Death of former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.
– H 1 N 1 virus spreads in Brazil four months before the Olympics.
– General Security stops Daesh network over recruitment of minors to perform terrorist acts.
– Dead and wounded in clashes in Ain al-Hilweh camp.
– Ceasefire announced in Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp.
– Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi opens spiritual summit in Bkirki: Challenges require us to meet and think together not only to serve our churches, but to serve the people of the region.
– Arrival of the first batch of refugees from Turkey to Germany.
– Grenade explodes in Ain al-Hilweh camp.
– Nilesat announces decision to stop broadcasting Al-Manar channel on satellite.
– Israeli conducts patrols at center of occupied Shebaa Farms.
– Saudi civil defence: gunfire kills two on Yemeni border.
– UNRWA offices close in Sidon’s Ain al-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh.
– Czech Republic cancels resettlement program of Iraqi Christians.
– Copy of Shakespeare’s works found in a Scottish island.
– Egyptian-Saudi agreement to construct bridge between the two countries.
– Trade union stages sit-in against corruption in Riad Solh.
– Michel Samaha sentenced to 13 years in prison and stripped of his civil rights.
– Airport security stops two Lebanese involved in contacting a terrorist organization.
– French Defence Minister visits Baghdad to discuss war against Daesh.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam chairs security meeting devoted to illegal Internet, Harb announces arrest of four involved.
– Explosions in front of a police station in southern Russia.
– Dialogue session between Hezbollah and Future Movement.
– The European Union renews its sanctions against Iranian figures.
– Fatah official Fathi Zeidan killed in Sidon.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam participates in Istanbul summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
– Airport Customs seize 31 kilos of cocaine and arrest smuggler.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam at 13th Islamic Cooperation Summit: Lebanon rejects resettlement of displaced people and affirms support to Arab consensus.
– Army arrests citizen over attacking army positions in Arsal in August 2014.
– Security Forces: Arrest of most-wanted drug trafficker in Tabarja.
– French President Francois Hollande in Lebanon declares aid to refugees in Lebanon will amount to 50 million euros this year and 100 million euros in the next three years.
– Russian fighter intercepts US military plane over the Baltic
– Israel’s cabinet convenes for the first time in the Golan.
– Stun grenade tossed at Rashidiya refugee camp.
– Sit-in in front of ESCWA in condemnation of targeting and shelling children in Kefraya and Fao’a.
– 17th dialogue session takes place in Ein Teeneh.
– Meeting between the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and US President Barack Obama in Riyadh.
– Summit between US President Barack Obama and leaders of Gulf countries in Riyadh.
– International Red Cross announces largest aid convoy to town of Rastan.
– Opening of public park near Sidon landfill.
– Summit between US President Barack Obama and leaders of Gulf countries in Riyadh.
– International Red Cross announces arrival of largest aid convoy to the town of Rastan.
– Bomb goes off under car notary public in Hermel.
– President Tammam Salam participates in New York’s climate conference.
– Burning cars and damaged homes in clashes between members of Zuayter family in Laylaki.
– Clashes at American University of Beirut on anniversary of Bashir Gemayel.
– 35 new cases of food poisoning in Akkar, and the Ministry of Health opens an investigation.
– Prosecutor General Judge Samir Hammoud tells the “National News Agency” about the arrest of seven people involved in the illegal internet scandal.
– Suicide bomber blows herself up in a historic site in the city of Bursa northwestern Turkey.
– Army kills Amir of Daesh in Arsal area
– Prime Minister Saad Hariri meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
– The sacred flame arrives to the tomb of Christ in Minyara Akkar.
– Armed clashes between two families in Choueifat.
– Armed clashes in Sharawneh Street in Akkar.
– Booby-trapped car explodes in Ghaziantep in Turkey.
– Former MP NouhadSoueid passes away.
– Announcement of inauguration of first airline between Lebanon and Zurich.
– Minister of Culture Raymond Araiji launches Lebanese Virtual National Museum for Modern Art.
– Foreign Minister GebranBassil launches work on implementation of Lebanese Citizenship Restoration Law.
– Saudi Foreign Ministry announces security forces raided terrorist cell near Mecca, killed all four members.
– – Renewed Israeli airstrikes bomb Hamas Movement’s bases in Gaza.
– Riot inside Qobbeh jail.
– Highest Lebanese flag hoisted upon Martyrs Day.
– Actor Ali Diyab passes away.
– Four-kg explosive bomb dismantled at Saadnayel roundabout.
– Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros Rahiin France.
– First stage of municipal and mayor election kicks off in Beirut, Bekaa, and Baalback-Hermel.
– Russia and the U.S. announceredoubled efforts to reach political settlement to Syria war and extension of February 27 ceasefire nationwide.
– Dialogue session between Hezbollah, Future Movement
– Bomb attack on police vehicle in Turkey’s Diyarbakir.
– Series of deadly explosions in Iraq kills and injures more than 200.
– 3 booby-trapped cars target military in southeast Yemen
– EDL daily workers observe sit-in in Corniche-al-Nahr.
– Hezbollah declares death of Mustafa Badreddine.
– – 3 hand grenades tossed at residences of Lebanese Democratic Party and Progressive Socialist Party officials in Hasbaya.
– Clash and fire trade in Baalback’sSharawbeh Street.
– Second stage of municipal and mayoral elections kicks off in Mount Lebanon, several injured in broils at poll stations.
– Diplomat and intellect Clovis Maksoud passes away.
– Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra on state visit in Lebanon.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam receives letter from U.S. State Secretary John Kerry hereby reiterating commitment to helping Lebanon in displaced dossier.
– French President François Hollande welcomes Saad Hariri at Elysée.
– Lebanon chairs 39th round of Arab Youth and Sports Ministers’ Council.
– National dialogue table convenes in 18th round of talks.
– MP WalidJumblatt in Kuwait for meeting with Prince and senior officials.
– Terrorist act targets Egyptian aircraft between en route from Paris to Cairo.
– Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros Rahi in South Africa on pastoral tour.
– United Nations flatly denies tendency to push Lebanon for nationalization or settlement of Syrian refugees.
– New Lebanese achievement in telecom field: LTE stations designed and developed by Lebanese engineers and first Microwave Links plant in the Middle East produced by Spectronite Company in Lebanon.
– Stun grenade dismantled in Ain-el-Hilwe Palestinian refugee camp.
– MP Amal Abu Zaid wins legislative sub-elections in Jezzine.
– 3rd stage of municipal and mayoral elections kicks off in South Lebanon.
– U.S. President Barack Obama confirms death of Taliban leader in Afghanistan Mullah Mansour in American airstrike.
– Customs Department seizes ton of Captagoncodrug powder.
– Two deadly explosion in Yemen’s Aden.
– PM Tammam Salam reiterates Lebanon not land for settlement during World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
– MTV crew survives armed ambush in Bekaa town of Hezzine.
– Presidential vacuum enters third year.
– 20 to 30 migrants killed in boat sinking accident off Libya shores.
– Locals block roads in Tripoli and Bhannin in protest at death of inmate FadiAkkoush in Roumieh jail.
– Obama makes historic visit to Hiroshima 71 years after atomic bombing.
– 6 soldiers injured as military tank veers off in Akkar.
– Youngsters break into electricity station in Baalback and ransack guard room.
– 4th and last stage of municipal and mayoral elections kicks off in North Lebanon.
– Real Madrid champion of Europe for 11th time.
– Migrants rescued in Manche sea off British coasts.
– EDL daily workers shut down facility.
– 3 killed in floods in west Germany.
– Kuwait Prince Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah meets Saad Hariri.
– Ex-Chad leader HisseneHabre sentenced to life for war crimes.
– Army receives engineering vehicles as donation by South Korea.
– 2 wounded as hand grenade detonates in Tripoli’s Zaheriyeh.
– International report declares nearly 46 million people trapped in modern slavery with two-thirds in Asia-Pacific region.
– One receives bullet in the leg during clash over traffic lane in Jounieh.
– 29th dialogue session between Hezbollah and Future Movement.
– Sit-in in Tripoli to call for release of activist Nabil Halabi.
– Enemy soldiers erect military tent in occupied part of Bastra farm.
– One terrorist killed and 3 arrested in preventive operations by Lebanese army in Akkar.
– Postponement of Parliament session to elect new president of the republic.
– Enemy soldiers open fire towards shepherd in Kfarshouba.
– 2 hand grenades found in front of Saint Georges Chruch in Roum town.
– Enemy patrols along border fence.
– One wounded as hand grenade mistakenly blows up in Ain-el-Hilwe.
– Clash at Ghazir stadium stops La Sagesse v/s Sporting basketball game.
– Stray bullet hits citizen in Brital, locals protest celebratory gunfire.
– Army finds guns and explosive belts inside farm in MajdalAnjar.
– Israeli soldiers comb area off border fence from Abbassieyh till Mtolleh.
– Israeli infantry soldiers snatch sheep herd from west Shebaa.
– Grenade tossed inside Ain-el-Hilwe.
– Army: 2.5 tons of cocaine, cannabis, and Captagon pills seized inside boat off Sidon.
– Enemy reinforcements at western edges of occupied Shebaa farms.
– One Ahrar al-Sham media official arrested in Baalback.
– 6,2-magnitude undersea earthquake hits Indonesia.
– Protest in front of Ministry of Interior and Municipalities against uncontrolled weapons.
– FAO delivers aids to households in Darayya.
– 120,000 jobs cut in UK between 2014 and 2016 due to oil slump.
– Explosive bomb targets BLOM in Verdun.
– UAV in Dubai skies causes international airport to stop for more than hour.
– 20 killed and 42 injured in shooting inside Florida nightclub.
– Enemy patrols roam at Shebaa farms edges.
– Saudi border guards intercept 122 migrants coming from Africa by sea.
– Policeman and female friend killed near Paris by extremist who declared loyalty to IS.
– UN General Assembly elects Fiji representative president of 71st round.
– Enemy troops resume construction of earthen barrier in Hamari border fence crossing.
– Dengue fever outbreak kills 17 and infects 1300 in Shabwah province in Yemen.
– U.S President Barack Obama receives Dalai Lama at the White House.
– UN confirms displacement of 80 thousand Sudanese from Darfur.
– Syria condemns presence of special French and German forces on its soil.
– Iranian-British employee accused of working on ousting regime in Iran.
– Clash develops into fist fight among protesters against transferring the Egyptian Hospital to Horsh Beirut.
– Russia declares 48-hour ceasefire in Aleppo.
– Iran files complaints before Supreme Court of Justice over frozen assets in the U.S.
– Iran Revolution Guards Army: 12 terrorists and 3 soldiers killed in confrontations near Iraqi borders.
– Counterfeit $90k seized at Beirut airport with Russian passenger.
– Two injured in shooting during clash in Hermel.
– ISF officer killed in gun shooting in Jdaidet-al-Qayteh.
– 15 Kurdish forces killed in Daesh attack north Baghdad.
– Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi declares Fallujah freed of Daesh grip.
– Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsisentenced to life in prison in Qatar espionage case.
– Iran reaches agreement with Boeing to purchase 100 aircrafts.
– 14 killed in suicide attack in Kabul.
– Woman assumes post of Rome municipality chief for first time in Italy.
– Rise in temperature causes explosion of gas station in Berqayel.
– Jordanian escapes abductors in Baalback.
– 6 Jordanian soldiers killed and at least 14 injured in attack with booby-trapped car on border with Syria.
– North Korea launches two medium-range missiles.
– Between 20 and 50 injured in shooting inside cinema complex in Germany’s Viernheim.
– Army bombs vehicle with terrorists aboard between Arsal outskirts and Ras Baalback.
– Fierce battles between Daesh and al-Nusra Front in Arsal outskirts, many casualties reported.
– Britain exits EU, and Paris, London, and Frankfurt stocks tumble.
– Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: U.S. sanctions have no effect on Hezbollah.
– Pope Francis condemns Armenian Genocide before Armenian President.
– Series of explosions leaves martyrs in al-Qaa.
– Grenade attack on pub in Malaysia wounds 8.
– Turkey says ready to pay Russia compensation for downed Russian jet in Syria.
– Turkey inks normalization ties deal with Israel.
– Deadly suicide attack inside mosque in Iraq.
– Several municipalities impose curfew on Syrians.
– Ataturk airport explosions kill many.
– Iran calls off flights to Ataturk airport.
– 4-magnitude earthquake recorded in Lebanon, Deir al-Qamar located as epicenter.
– Army foils two terrorist operations against renowned tourist facility in a populated area.
– 81 killed in blast near Mogadishu.
– ISF patrol intercepted in Baalback, inmate escapes.
– Daesh claims responsibility for shooting dead Father Rafael Moussa in Sinai’s Arish.
– Fraud detected at “Mecanique” center: 3281 receipts recorded as paid, absent from treasury.
– European Union extends sanctions on Russia for 6 months. Moscow deems decision absurd, illegal.
– Scientific Research Council: Toxic fish swim along coast, excrete poisonous substance.
– Citizen lured from Jounieh to Baalbek, $ 80,000 ransom requested.
– People killed in shooting at cafe in Serbia.
– More than 119 people killed in explosion in Baghdad; Daesh claims responsibility.
– Israel bombs two Syrian military posts after shooting in Golan.
– Suicide bomber blows himself up near mosque in Qatif, and another near security headquarters at Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
– United Nations: 30,000 foreign terrorist fighters in Syria and Iraq.
– Clashes, shooting in Akkar mountains against backdrop of municipal elections.
– Gunmen kill Lebanese from al-Hujairi family in Arsal.
– Israeli combing operation along west Shebaa borderline.
– Two killed in explosion at Mahshahr petrochemical plant in Iran.
– French diplomatic source: Saudi Arabia, Iran do not oppose principle of political solution in Lebanon.
– Three US policemen killed, seven wounded in snipers’ shooting in Dallas.
– Fatah leader, Abdallah Sultan, survives assassination attempt in Mieh w Mieh camp, one person wounded.
– STL: Appeals Chamber terminates proceedings against Badreddine proven dead through sufficient evidence submitted before court.
– Journalist Elie Slaibi dies.
– French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Lebanon: Each side must bear its own responsibility; political solution can only be achieved within framework of dialogue among Lebanese.
– Election session adjourned.
– United States opens door to 10,000 Syrian refugees for current fiscal year.
– Belgian Interior Ministry: 457 Belgians among foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.
– Evacuation of three thousand people from summer camps in South of France after fire eruption.
– More than 100 people crushed to death in attack during National Day celebrations in Nice.
– Attempted coup in Turkey.
– Army violently shells militants’ posts in Ras Baalbek and Wadi Rafeq mountains.
– Intensive Enemy patrols between Ramtha and Al-Alam.
– 31 people poisoned in Eqlim El-Kharroub.
– Fire shooting, shelling in Sharawina neighborhood, two Syrians injured.
– Sweden decides to open its embassy in Beirut to enjoy full authority at end of this year.
– Apple growers in Labweh block international road in protest against low prices.
– Health Minister, Wael Abou Faour, announces draft for comprehensive hospitalization coverage for elderly.
– Controlled tension in Ain al-Hilweh after assassination of Al-Bahti.
– 100 million Euros from Germany to support World Food Programme in Lebanon.
– 29th dialogue session between Hezbollah and Future.
– Syrian Foreign Ministry: French warplanes commit bloody massacre in Tokhan Al-Kubra.
– More than 3,200 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.
– Turkish army shells positions of PKK in Iraq for first time since failed coup.
– Day workers stage sit-in and set up tent in front of Hayek’s office after refusing to respond to their demands.
– Suspicious bag found in Shiah containing ammunition.
– Sit-in for day workers at EDL headquarters.
– Army cordons off vessel coming from Turkey at Tripoli port.
– German police: Several people killed in shooting in Munich.
– Arrest of Captagon smuggler to the Gulf owing to Lebanese-Saudi coordination.
– PM Tammam Salam heads to Mauritania to participate in Arab Summit.
– At least 12 people killed in suicide attack in Baghdad.
– One of Al-Nusra terrorist front’s top leaders in Army’s grip.
– Former MP, Hassan Yacoub, released.
– Prime Minister Tammam Salam proposes before Arab summit in Nouakchott forming Arab organization to develop idea of creating accommodation for displaced Syrians inside Syrian territory, convincing international community of said step.
– Saudi Interior Ministry announces death of five border guards in clashes with hostile elements in Najran.
– Strike, sit-in by EDL day-workers.
– Slaughter of priest inside church in France; Daesh claims responsibility.
– Study by Union of Arab Banks: 10 Lebanese among 85 Arab banks within 1000 largest banks in the world.
– Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb assigned to head waste committee.
– Bombings in Qamishli and Damascus.
– Claims filed against security forces’ officers, elements on offense of failing to take necessary legal proceedings against owners of illegal internet.
– Syrian President issues decree to grant amnesty to all those who carried weapons and turned themselves in.
– France and Britain call on Damascus and its allies for immediate lifting of siege imposed on Aleppo.
– MP Sleiman Frangieh announces from Ain al-Tineh his non withdrawal from presidential race.
– 3 dead, including NATO representative, in munitions explosion in Ukraine.
– Day-worker, Rabih Sayegh, transferred to hospital after hunger strike.
– Two people arrested in Belgium on suspicion of planning attacks.
– “We Want Accountability” activists set up tents in Riad Solh until end of dialogue sessions.
– Families of kidnapped military elements stage sit-in at Riad Solh Square.
– One Saudi officer, six soldiers killed in Yemeni infiltration attempt.
– Foiled attempt to smuggle hundreds of thousands of Captagon pills packed inside plastic bags.
– Talal Erslan, chairman of the Democratic Party by acclamation.
– Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee at the Iranian Parliament, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, in Beirut .
– International Organization for Migration (IOM): More than 4,000 migrants and refugees have died since the beginning of the year.
– British Embassy announces 60 million pounds to be provided to Education for All Children Programme in Lebanon.
– 10 wounded during football match between Haruf and Dweir.
– Wounded in clashes between two families in Baalbek.
– Major Army operation in Atta Valley leads to arrest of Lebanese and Syrian Daesh masterminds; one of them dies in the process.
– Olympics games begin at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
– Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, inaugurates Lady of Durr Maronite Church in Mukhtara after restoration works sponsored by MP Walid Jumblatt on the 15th anniversary of the Mountain Reconciliation.
– Execution of Iranian nuclear scientist convicted of spying for the United States.
– 43rd session to elect President adjourned.
– Historic meeting between Russian, Turkish presidents in St. Petersburg.
– Army receives shipment of US military aid worth $ 50 million.
– Army helicopter destroys Al-Nusra Front post in Arsal mountains.
– Vessel burns inside port of Tripoli.
– Russian Parliamentarian: Russia will transform Khmeimim airport in Syria into permanent air base.
– Kataeb activists gather in front of ‘Forum de Beirut’ to protest sea reclamation by waste.
– Abbot Naamtallah Hashem elected as president of Maronite Order.
– Saudi Arabia bans 3 women from joining extremists in Syria.
– Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, from Bint Jbeil: We are committed to Aoun as President. Berri is our candidate for House Speaker post, and we are open in terms of premiership for next government, after president’s election.
– Minister Gebran Bassil appointed as head of the Free Patriotic Movement.
– Waste returns to streets.
– Soldier killed, 3 wounded in attack on two Turkish tanks in Syria.
– Sadr family files lawsuit against Hannibal Gaddafi.
– Artist Abdullah Nabbout, one of Les Diseurs theater’s founders, dies.
– STL sentences Ibrahim Al-Amin to 20,000 Euros and al-Akhbar newspaper to 6000 Euros.
– 6,500 migrants rescued off Libyan coast.
– Largest Shawarma Sandwich in the world made by Cultural Club in Jdaydet Akkar.
– Lebanon reaps two gold, one silver and one bronze medals at Arab Fencing Championship in Jordan.
– Dead and wounded in roadside bomb on Ksara roundabout in Zahle.
– Speaker Nabih Berri on al-Sadr’s disappearance commemoration: Presidency not enough, we need package-deal.
– Assistant US Secretary of State for Political Affairs in Lebanon.
– Moqtada al-Sadr in Beirut.
– Child manages to sneak into airplane, travel to Turkey aboard Middle East Airlines without passport.
– Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi receives indictments related to explosions of Al Takwa and Al Salam mosques.
– Lebanese citizen sinks during sea trip in Turkey, 7 others resued.
– Pope Francis declares Mother Theresa holiness.
– Sit-in for cab drivers in front of mechanical inspection centers.
– House Speaker Nabih Berri hopes from Mps to grant the Lebanese Army half their allocation for October.
– National dialogue sessions suspended after FPM declares boycott.
– Boobytrap targets car in Majdel Anjar, wounds 3.
– UNICEF: 50 million children in the world taken away from their roots.
– Postponing the 44th parliamentary session devoted to elect president.
– Fouad Makhzoumi obtains peace award for international works and communication between religions.
– Spy apparatus for enemy detected in liberated Lebanese lands.
– Protest in front of Burj Hammoud landfill upon a call from Kataeb party.
– Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi asks Finance Minister to correct the memorandum concerning lands in Akoura: the state should put terms to violations against lands belonging to Jounieh Patriarchate in Lassa.
– Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk signs a request for deactivating Democratic Arab Party and Tawhid Movement, Minkara branch.
– Number of people killed in an explosion in Turkey on first days of Adha.
– Ankara demands from Washington to arrest Fathalla Golan for his role in the coup attempt in Turkey.
– Israeli aggression in Syrian lands.
– 6 wounded children after collapse of aero plaything in a Luna park in Tripoli.
– Starting removing trash off streets.
– Landmine explodes under vehicle for UNIFIL Spanish unit in outskirts of Ebel Al Saki.
– 4 triumphs for Lebanon in chess Olympiad in Baku.
– 9 conditions of drowning as a boat falls facing Sidon sea castle.
– Wheel game in Fantasy World Luna Park collapses and wounds a number of people.
– Fleet composed of women moves from Barcelona to break the siege against Gaza Strip.
– Statement for Ambassadors of great countries and Kaag after meeting with Premier Tammam Salam: Big support for Lebanon’s stability, presidential election and parliamentary elections on date.
– 4 wounded as bomb explodes in Al Noor Camp for displaced Syrians.
– Golden and bronze medal for Lebanese delegation partaking in India International Innovation Fair.
– PM Tammam Salam heads to New York to partake in UN General Assembly.
– French Embassy opens doors of Pine Residence for the first time for Lebanese on the Day for European Heritage.
– Ban Ki Moon: UN Summit for Displaced People is big accomplishment, more than 244 million migrants, 65 million forced migrants.
– British Defense Minister: We shared coalition strike on Deir Al Zour without hitting Syrian army units.
– UN: Shelling against humane convoys in Syria considered could be considered as war crime. Suspending all humanitarian aid convoys due to air raids, Red Cross declares death of 20 civil people by air raid.
– Lebanon ranks first in throwing championship in Tunisia.
– Fire trade between citizens and displaced Syrians in Dawhat Aramoun wounds a number of people.
– Dialogue session between Future and Hezbollah.
– Cab drivers block roads in different regions.
– More than 144 dead after drowning of boat carrying illegal migrants facing Egyptian coastline.
– Arresting Daesh emir in Ain Al Helwe.
– Public Health Ministry wins appreciation degree in food safety conference in Sultanate of Oman.
– Clashes between security forces and protesters from We Want Accountability at Banks Street.
– PM Tammam Salam from New York warns of hazardous Lebanese condition especially amidst heavy displaced Syrians presence.
– First Lebanese flag raised high on Arz Falougha Mount.
– Protest in front of Costa Brava against unhealthy landfills.
– Assassination of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar in front of Palace of Justice in central of Amman.
– Protest for apple farmers against failure to sell apple.
– Russian annulled ban on importing vegetables and fruits from Egypt.
– Sit-in for land transportation sector in front of mechanical inspection centers.
– Former Israeli President Shimon Peres passes away.
– Public Health Minister Wael Abu Faour: Total hospitalization coverage for each one over 64 years as of October 2016.
– Postponing 45th presidential election session.
– Ukraine: Dutch investigation shows Russia’s direct involvement in targeting Malaysian plane.
Moscow considers investigation as biased and politicized.
– 1 silver and 3 bronze medals for Lebanese Olympic commission that headed to Vietnam to partake in Asian Muay Thai championship.
– 3 wounded due to landmine outburst near barbed wire in Mtelle.
– Decision for National Defense Ministry to extend Lebanese Army Chief General Jean Kahwagi’s mandate.
– French warplane fleet “Charle de Gaulle” starts anti-Daesh operations.
– PM Tammam Salam launches national day for protecting Litani basin: condition catastrophic.
– Houthi attack against Emirati boat near Bab Al Mandeb.
– One dead, 2 wounded due to dispute on airport road.
– Protest for apple farmers in Upper Metn against failure to sell apple.
– Iran takes legal action against 400 officials due to rise in their salaries.
– Apple farmers in Dar Al Waseaa block road to protest failure to sell apple.
– Debate between Bkerki and Ain Al Tineh.
– Pope Francis makes sudden visit to regions badly affected by earthquakes in central Italy.
– Former PM Saad Hariri meets Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
– Fatal clashes in Arsal highlands between terrorist gunmen.
– UN Special Coordinator to Lebanon Sigrid Kaag concludes her visit to Iran in the context of her regional and international discussions over Lebanon.
– Iranian President Hasan Rouhani heads to Vietnam in an official visit for 2 days.
– Maronite Bishops address officials to awaken their concience: For abiding by Constitution and Pact and electing a president without conditions.
– Sheikh Bassam Al Tarras again arrested for investigations.
– Cabinet appoints Professor Fouad Ayyoub as President for Lebanese University.
– EU allocates 12 million Euros to support UNRWA for rebuilding Nahr Al Bared camp.
– Security Council agrees by consensus on appointing Antonio Gutierrez as UN General Secretary.
– More than 140 killed, around 525 wounded after raids on council of condolences in Sanaa.
– Daesh senior Abu Bakr Al Rikkawi found killed in Arsal. Rikkawi was responsible for killing martyr ISF member Zaher Ezzedine in Arsal’s square.
– President Vladimir Putin in Turkey to look into energy file despite divisions over Syria.
– Israeli occupying forces places cameras for observation facing Hosn Al Wazzani park.
– Sit-in for farmers from Arsal in front of Serail.
– Security coordination between Lebanon and KSA foils organized attempt to smuggle Captagon.
– 3 wounded after individual dispute witnessing armed emerge in Sawfar.
– Pope Francis calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria.
– Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah: Some betting on our tiresome, number of our martyrs, and financial and economic siege imposed on us. For this reason I say we won’t be tire nor defeated nor retreat.
– Cabinet: Allocating 10 billion LBP for paying compensations to Arsal farmers.
– Appointing Portuguese Antonio Gutierrez as UN Secretary General.
– 4 killed in Ashkout due to conflicts between neighbors and dog annoy.
– Former PM Saad Hariri in Paris.
– Egyptian Poet Farouk Shousha passes away.
– 9 Egyptian soldiers killed by attack on military checkpoint in North Sinaa.
– 19 killed in suicidal explosion targeting council for condolences in North of Baghdad.
– Rifi: March 8 candidate won’t be able to enter Baabda Palace, we won’t give nation to Iran and Syrian regime.
– MP Sleiman Frangieh: I am still candidate to presidential elections, I won’t retreat, decisive word on October 31.
– FPM supporters gathering on road to Baabda Palace.
– Rockets launched towards 3 American war boats in Red Sea.
– Emiri decree issued in Kuwait to dissolve National “Umma” Council.
– Army sergeant killed by bullits from gunmen in Arsal.
– Sit-in for land transportation union in front of mechanical inspection centers.
– Killing and wounding a big number of Daesh members as Lebanese Army targeted their locations.
– Attack against Daesh in Mosul starts.
– UN: Declaring ceasefire in Yemen for 72-hour period apt to renewable.
– Army arrests leader in Nusra Front after ambush in Arsal.
– Former PM Saad Hariri declares support for General Michel Aoun as President for the Republic.
– Arresting network of 8 Syrians planning to target Lebanese interior by a series of suicidal bombs.
– Sit-in in front of UNRWA in Nahr Al Bared to complete building the camp.
– US Secretary of State John Kerry expresses warnings regarding presidential elections in Lebanon after former PM Saad Hariri’s announcement of support for General Michel Aoun as president.
– House Speaker Nabih Berri in Geneva to partake in International Parliamentary Union works.
– Pope Francis: Shocked due to violence against Christians and Muslims in Iraq.
– Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah: We will go to upcoming parliamentary session to elect General Michel Aoun as president for the republic. We won’t reject Saad Hariri as prime minister even though it is something risky to us.
– Head of the Bloc of Reform and Change General Michel Aoun visits Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah to thank him for his support.
– Foiling attack against Daesh in Karkouk.
– Head of Marada Movement MP Sleiman Frangieh confirms his nonwithdrawal from presidential battle.
– Syrian truck carrying Captagon found in Tripoli seaport moving to KSA.
– 2200 migrants facing Libya rescued yesterday, 16 corpses found.
– Arresting most 2 dangerous drug traders in South after raiding their bases in Sharhabil.
– 22 children among those killed by raid targeting school in Northern West of Syria.
– Around 100 migrants lost in sea facing Libya.
– Saudi Thamer Al Sabhan in Beirut delegated to follow up presidential election.
– Singer and Composer Melhem Barakat passes away at 74.
– Arresting network of human traffickers and prostitution in Maameltein.
– Head of Democratic Gathering MP Walid Jumblatt after receiving Head of Bloc of Reform and Change General Michel Aoun: Majority of Democratic Gathering and Progressive Socialist Party will vote for General Aoun.
– Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah in meeting dignitaries from Bekaa region: For removing away from any perpetrator the cover of any family, tribe or party.
– French President Francois Hollande confirms that France won’t accept camps for refugees on its lands.
– General Michel Aoun elected as President for the Republic.
– Mass cemetery found in Zahle.
– President of the R
Investing in Europe’s youth: Commission presents measures to improve opportunities for young people and launches European Solidarity Corps
The European Commission is today launching the European Solidarity Corps, just two months after President Juncker announced it in his State of the Union address and as a first deliverable of the priorities for action identified in the Bratislava Roadmap. As of today, young people between the ages of 18 and 30 can sign up for new opportunities to make an important contribution to society across the EU, and to gain invaluable experience and acquire valuable skills at the start of their career. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The European Solidarity Corps will create opportunities for young people willing to make a meaningful contribution to society and help show solidarity – something the world and our European Union needs more of. For me, this has always been the very essence of what the European Union is about. It is not the Treaties or industrial or economic interests that bind us together, but our values. And those who work as volunteers are living European values each and every day.” At 13:00 today, Vice-President Georgieva will officially launch the European Solidarity Corps under the Skyshelter Dome at the Schuman roundabout.In addition to the European Solidarity Corps,the Commission is also presenting a series of measures to boost youth employment, improve and modernise education, more investment in skills of young people, and better opportunities to learn and study abroad. Today’s proposals bring together at EU-level for the first time different types of action with a single goal: to improve opportunities for young people. The measures will be presented by Commissioners Thyssen, Stylianides and Navracsics following today’s College meeting. More information on the entire package can be found in the following press release and memo. More detailed information on the European Solidarity Corps can be found here. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083)
Ententes: la Commission inflige des amendes d’un montant total de 485 millions € au Crédit Agricole, à HSBC et à JPMorgan Chase pour participation à une entente concernant des produits dérivés de taux d’intérêt en euro
La Commission européenne a infligé des amendes pour un montant total de 485 millions € au Crédit Agricole, à HSBC et à JPMorgan Chase pour leur participation à une entente concernant des produits dérivés de taux d’intérêt en euro. Les banques se sont entendues sur des éléments de la fixation du prix des produits dérivés de taux d’intérêt en euro, et ont échangé des informations sensibles, en violation des règles de l’UE concernant les pratiques anticoncurrentielles. Contrairement à Barclays, à Deutsche Bank, à RBS et à Société Générale, avec lesquelles la Commission est parvenue à une transaction concernant la même affaire d’entente en décembre 2013, Crédit Agricole, HSBC et JPMorgan Chase ont choisi de ne pas régler cette affaire par voie de transaction avec la Commission. Cette dernière a donc poursuivi son enquête à leur égard selon la procédure normale applicable en matière d’ententes. La décision d’aujourd’hui marque la fin de la première des différentes enquêtes ouvertes au sujet d’ententes dans le secteur des services financiers. Mme Margrethe Vestager, commissaire chargée de la politique de concurrence, a déclaré à ce propos: «Un secteur financier sain et concurrentiel est indispensable pour soutenir l’investissement et la croissance. Les banques doivent respecter les règles de concurrence de l’UE au même titre que n’importe quelle autre entreprise exerçant ses activités dans le marché unique.» Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne en EN, FR et DE. La conférence de presse du commissaire Vestager est disponible sur EbS.Voir aussi la déclaration du commissaire Vestager. (Pour plus d’informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)
Fitness Check of Nature legislation: Commission considers options for improved implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives
Today the College held an orientation debate on the next steps of the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives. These Directives are vital for Europe’s nature conservation policy and as such, their implementation needs to be improved. This was one of the findings of the extensive evaluation the Commission has been carrying out since late 2014 in which it has been consulting citizens and stakeholders across all EU Member States. Today First Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Vella, presented the key findings of this evaluation to the College and discussed the next steps. The challenges and problems identified primarily relate to the insufficient management and lack of adequate investment in the Natura 2000 network of protected sites, as well as to local deficiencies such as delays, unnecessary burdens for project permits and lack of adequate different assessments in regulating individual species. The evaluation identified the need to improve the implementation of the Directives and their coherence with broader socio-economic objectives, including other EU policy areas such as energy, agriculture and fisheries. On the basis of today’s Orientation Debate, the Commission will develop an Action Plan to correct the deficiencies encountered in the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. The Action Plan will contain a series of concrete measures such as holding regular meetings with mayors and other local authorities to assess implementation challenges and help Member States take the necessary corrective action. Moreover, the Plan will design, in partnership with Member States and relevant stakeholders, appropriate implementation guidelines for regional actors, reducing unnecessary burdens and litigation, and incentivising national and regional investment in biodiversity. The Committee of the Regions will be closely involved in the follow-up of today’s orientation debate and Commissioner Vella with First Vice-President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen will inform the College regularly about the progress on addressing the problems and shortcomings identified by the Fitness Check. (For more information: Enrico Brivio– Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)
Securing Europe’s external borders: European Border and Coast Guard Agency launches rapid reaction pool of border guards and equipment
Today the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is launching the rapid reaction pool of border guards and equipment. As of today, the Agency will be able to deploy equipment and a standing reserve of at least 1,500 border guards and experts at short notice to support Member States in emergency situations at the EU’s external borders. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: “As of today, there should no longer be shortages of staff or equipment for the operations of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. This is an important milestone in the roll-out of the Agency and will ensure, at all times, that sufficient support is available to help Member States in cases where the common external EU border is placed under strong pressure.” Launched on 6 October, in record time and less than a year after it was first proposed by the Commission, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will ensure the effective application of strong common border management standards and provide operational support and intervention where necessary to promptly respond to emerging crises at the external borders. The Agency will now be able to draw on 1,500 experts committed by EU Member States and Schengen associated countries that can be deployed within five working days. The border guards and experts of the rapid reaction pool will be in addition to the officers deployed in regular Agency operations at the EU’s external borders. The Agency currently has 1,200 officers deployed in operations at EU external borders. As of today, the Agency will also have at its disposal the necessary technical equipment that can be used in rapid intervention operations, including vehicles, vessels and aircrafts. You can find a press release by the European Border and Coast Guardhere. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)
L’Union européenne renforce son soutien au Burkina-Faso avec 800 millions d’euros
M. Neven Mimica, Commissaire européen pour la coopération internationale et le développement, est aujourd’hui à Paris pour participer à la Conférence internationale sur le Burkina Faso pour le financement du Plan national de développement économique et social (PNDES). Le Plan national pour le développement économique et social jette les bases pour la mise en œuvre des objectifs du nouveau gouvernement à l’horizon 2020. La Commission européenne compte l’appuyer avec un important soutien de 800 millions d’euros. Le Commissaire Mimica a fait la déclaration suivante : «Nous sommes aujourd’hui réunis pour discuter du Plan national pour le développement économique et social, plan que le Gouvernement du Faso présente à la communauté internationale. Il s’agit d’un Plan ambitieux qui doit mener à la consolidation de la démocratie et au développement durable du pays. L’Union européenne soutiendra à hauteur de 800 millions d’euros les efforts entrepris afin que la population du Faso voit rapidement les effets d’une stabilité retrouvée et bénéficie des dividendes de la paix.» Lors de cette conférence, le Commissaire Mimica va signer trois conventions de financement, dont deux appuis budgétaires, pour un montant de 205 millions d’euros.(Pour plus d’informations: Carlos Martin – Tel: +32 229-65322, Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to conditions
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at preserving competition between professional social networks in Europe. Microsoft and LinkedIn are mainly active in complementary business areas, except for minor overlaps in online advertising. The Commission’s investigation under EU merger rules focused in particular on three areas: (i) professional social network services, (ii) customer relationship management software solutions, and (iii) online advertising services. In the professional social network services market, the Commission was concerned that Microsoft would use its strong market position in operating systems for personal computers and productivity software to strengthen LinkedIn’s position among professional social networks. This would make it harder for new players to start providing professional social network services in the EEA. To address those concerns, Microsoft offered a series of commitments which will apply in the EEA for a period of five years and will be monitored by a trustee. These commitments address the competition concerns identified by the Commission. Regarding customer relationship management software and online advertising services, the Commission’s concerns were not corroborated. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “A growing number of Europeans subscribe to professional social networks. These networks are important for professionals to connect and interact and to find new career opportunities. Today’s decision ensures that Europeans will continue to enjoy a freedom of choice between professional social networks.” A full press release is available online in EN, FR and DE. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella – Tel.: +32 229 86801)
Une personne sur quatre âgées de 15 ans ou plus dans l’Union européenne est un fumeur
Alors qu’un peu plus de trois quarts (76,0%) des personnes âgées de 15 ans ou plus vivant dans l’Union européenne (UE) ne fumaient pas en 2014, 19,2% fumaient quotidiennement du tabac et 4,7% en fumaient de manière occasionnelle. En d’autres termes, près d’une personne sur quatre (24,0%) âgées de 15 ans ou plus dans l’UE était actuellement fumeur en 2014. La proportion de fumeurs actuels varie selon le sexe, avec une proportion plus importante d’hommes fumant (28,7%) que de femmes (19,5%) dans l’UE en 2014. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissaire européen à la santé et la sécurité alimentaire, a déclaré: “Les taux élevés de fumeurs dans l’Union européenne, et les preuves que les jeunes Européens continuent d’en payer le prix de leur santé constituent une de mes plus grandes préoccupations. Les données qu’Eurostat publie aujourd’hui démontrent à nouveau la nécessité des mesures fortes adoptées à l’échelle de l’Union européenne pour encadrer les produits du tabac et que les pays de l’UE doivent mettre en œuvre depuis le 20 mai de cette année. Ces nouvelles mesures comprennent des images d’avertissement relatives aux conséquences du tabac sur la santé humaine, ainsi que l’interdiction des arômes et de divers paquets attrayants. Elles visent à décourager les jeunes de fumer et à faire en sorte que les citoyens de l’UE de tous les âges soient pleinement conscients des effets nocifs du tabagisme.” Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel. +32 229 87624)
Second EU Internet Forum to counter terrorist content and hate speech online
Tomorrow, the European Commission will host the second EU Internet Forum with the participation of Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos, Věra Jourová and Julian King. The Forum will bring together the Commission, Member States, EUROPOL, the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) and Internet companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. The meeting will push for further progress on reducing accessibility to terrorist propaganda online and empowering civil society to increase the volume of effective alternative narratives on the Internet. The participants will also discuss a tool developed by the Internet industry to create a shared database to help identify potential terrorist content on social media and prevent its reappearance on other platforms. The Commission and Internet companies will sign a joint statement on curbing terrorist content on the Internet. The Commission will also report on progress made in addressing the surge of xenophobic and racist online hate speech. A press release from the launch of the EU Internet Forum is available online and a press point with Commissioners Avramopoulos and King will take place tomorrow in the VIP corner at 15:30. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)
Commissioners Avramopoulos, Jourová, King and Stylianides to attend the Justice and Home Affairs Council
Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos, Věra Jourová, Julian King, and Christos Stylianides will attend the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on 8-9 December 2016. On Thursday, Justice Ministers will discuss the latest development regarding the directive on the fight against fraud to the EU’s financial interests (the so-called PIF directive), the digital content directive part of the digital contract proposal and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office proposal (EPPO). Discussions over lunch will focus on the code of conduct on countering illegal online hate speech. Finally, the Commission will report on the follow-up to the June Council conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyberspace. On Friday, Home Affairs Ministers will discuss the Commission proposals for a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), including the reform of the Dublin mechanism, the establishment of a European Agency for Asylum and the proposals to create a common procedure for international protection in the EU, uniform standards for protection and rights granted to beneficiaries of international protection and the further harmonisation of reception conditions in the EU. Over lunch, the application of the principles of responsibility and solidarity in the context of the EU’s migration and asylum policy will be discussed. Home Affairs Ministers are also expected to agree on a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the Eurodac regulation and possibly on the Entry-Exit System. Furthermore, Ministers will discuss the fight against terrorism, including policy options as regards foreign terrorist fighters, the cooperation between law enforcement agencies and electronic communication service providers and the management of the consequences following terrorist attacks including by strengthening Civil Protection measures. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 22962253; Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229-65322)
Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)
Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
I stood here a year ago and I told you that the State of our Union was not good. I told you that there is not enough Europe in this Union. And that there is not enough Union in this Union.
I am not going to stand here today and tell you that everything is now fine.
It is not.
Let us all be very honest in our diagnosis.
Our European Union is, at least in part, in an existential crisis.
Over the summer, I listened carefully to Members of this Parliament, to government representatives, to many national Parliamentarians and to the ordinary Europeans who shared their thoughts with me.
I have witnessed several decades of EU integration. There were many strong moments. Of course, there were many difficult times too, and times of crisis.
But never before have I seen such little common ground between our Member States. So few areas where they agree to work together.
Never before have I heard so many leaders speak only of their domestic problems, with Europe mentioned only in passing, if at all.
Never before have I seen representatives of the EU institutions setting very different priorities, sometimes in direct opposition to national governments and national Parliaments. It is as if there is almost no intersection between the EU and its national capitals anymore.
Never before have I seen national governments so weakened by the forces of populism and paralysed by the risk of defeat in the next elections.
Never before have I seen so much fragmentation, and so little commonality in our Union.
We now have a very important choice to make.
Do we give in to a very natural feeling of frustration? Do we allow ourselves to become collectively depressed? Do we want to let our Union unravel before our eyes?
Or do we say: Is this not the time to pull ourselves together? Is this not the time to roll up our sleeves and double, triple our efforts? Is this not the time when Europe needs more determined leadership than ever, rather than politicians abandoning ship?
Our reflections on the State of the Union must start with a sense of realism and with great honesty.
First of all, we should admit that we have many unresolved problems in Europe. There can be no doubt about this.
From high unemployment and social inequality, to mountains of public debt, to the huge challenge of integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security at home and abroad – every one of Europe’s Member States has been affected by the continuing crises of our times.
We are even faced with the unhappy prospect of a member leaving our ranks.
Secondly, we should be aware that the world is watching us.
I just came back from the G20 meeting in China. Europe occupies 7 chairs at the table of this important global gathering. Despite our big presence, there were more questions than we had common answers to.
Will Europe still be able to conclude trade deals and shape economic, social and environmental standards for the world?
Will Europe’s economy finally recover or be stuck in low growth and low inflation for the next decade?
Will Europe still be a world leader when it comes to the fight for human rights and fundamental values?
Will Europe speak up, with one voice, when territorial integrity is under threat, in violation of international law?
Or will Europe disappear from the international scene and leave it to others to shape the world?
I know that you here in this House would be only too willing to give clear answers to these questions. But we need our words to be followed by joint action. Otherwise, they will be just that: words. And with words alone, you cannot shape international affairs.
Thirdly, we should recognise that we cannot solve all our problems with one more speech. Or with one more summit.
This is not the United States of America, where the President gives a State of the Union speech to both Houses of Congress, and millions of citizens follow his every word, live on television.
In comparison to this, our State of the Union moment here in Europe shows very visibly the incomplete nature of our Union. I am speaking today in front of the European Parliament. And separately, on Friday, I will meet with the national leaders in Bratislava.
So my speech can not only compete for your applause, ignoring what national leaders will say on Friday. I also cannot go to Bratislava with a different message than I have for you. I have to take into account both levels of democracy of our Union, which are both equally important.
We are not the United States of Europe. Our European Union is much more complex. And ignoring this complexity would be a mistake that would lead us to the wrong solutions.
Europe can only work if speeches supporting our common project are not only delivered in this honourable House, but also in the Parliaments of all our Member States.
Europe can only work if we all work for unity and commonality, and forget the rivalry between competences and institutions. Only then will Europe be more than the sum of its parts. And only then can Europe be stronger and better than it is today. Only then will leaders of the EU institutions and national governments be able to regain the trust of Europe’s citizens in our common project.
Because Europeans are tired of the endless disputes, quarrels and bickering.
Europeans want concrete solutions to the very pertinent problem that our Union is facing. And they want more than promises, resolutions and summit conclusions. They have heard and seen these too often.
Europeans want common decisions followed by swift and efficient implementation.
Yes, we need a vision for the long term. And the Commission will set out such a vision for the future in a White Paper in March 2017, in time for the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. We will address how to strengthen and reform our Economic and Monetary Union. And we will also take into account the political and democratic challenges our Union of 27 will be facing in the future. And of course, the European Parliament will be closely involved in this process, as will national Parliaments.
But a vision alone will not suffice. What our citizens need much more is that someone governs. That someone responds to the challenges of our time.
Europe is a cord of many strands – it only works when we are all pulling in the same direction: EU institutions, national governments and national Parliaments alike. And we have to show again that this is possible, in a selected number of areas where common solutions are most urgent.
I am therefore proposing a positive agenda of concrete European actions for the next twelve months.
Because I believe the next twelve months are decisive if we want to reunite our Union. If we want to overcome the tragic divisions between East and West which have opened up in recent months. If we want to show that we can be fast and decisive on the things that really matter. If we want to show to the world that Europe is still a force capable of joint action.
We have to get to work.
I sent a letter with this message to President Schulz and Prime Minister Fico this morning.
The next twelve months are the crucial time to deliver a better Europe:
a Europe that protects;
a Europe that preserves the European way of life;
a Europe that empowers our citizens,
a Europe that defends at home and abroad; and
a Europe that takes responsibility.
A EUROPE THAT PRESERVES OUR WAY OF LIFE
I am convinced the European way of life is something worth preserving.
I have the impression that many seem to have forgotten what being European means.
What it means to be part of this Union of Europeans – what it is the farmer in Lithuania has in common with the single mother in Zagreb, the nurse in Valetta or the student in Maastricht.
To remember why Europe’s nations chose to work together.
To remember why crowds celebrated solidarity in the streets of Warsaw on 1 May 2004.
To remember why the European flag waved proudly in Puerta del Sol on 1 January 1986.
To remember that Europe is a driving force that can help bring about the unification of Cyprus – something I am supporting the two leaders of Cyprus in.
Above all, Europe means peace. It is no coincidence that the longest period of peace in written history in Europe started with the formation of the European Communities.
70 years of lasting peace in Europe. In a world with 40 active armed conflicts, which claim the lives of 170,000 people every year.
Of course we still have our differences. Yes, we often have controversy. Sometimes we fight. But we fight with words. And we settle our conflicts around the table, not in trenches.
An integral part of our European way of life is our values.
The values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law. Values fought for on battlefields and soapboxes over centuries.
We Europeans can never accept Polish workers being harassed, beaten up or even murdered on the streets of Harlow. The free movement of workers is as much a common European value as our fight against discrimination and racism.
We Europeans stand firmly against the death penalty. Because we believe in and respect the value of human life.
We Europeans also believe in independent, effective justice systems. Independent courts keep governments, companies and people in check. Effective justice systems support economic growth and defend fundamental rights. That is why Europe promotes and defends the rule of law.
Being European also means being open and trading with our neighbours, instead of going to war with them. It means being the world’s biggest trading bloc, with trade agreements in place or under negotiation with over 140 partners across the globe.
And trade means jobs – for every €1 billion we get in exports, 14,000 extra jobs are created across the EU. And more than 30 million jobs, 1 in 7 of all jobs in the EU, now depend on exports to the rest of the world.
That is why Europe is working to open up markets with Canada – one of our closest partners and one which shares our interests, our values, our respect for the rule of law and our understanding of cultural diversity. The EU-Canada trade agreement is the best and most progressive deal the EU has ever negotiated. And I will work with you and with all Member States to see this agreement ratified as soon as possible.
Being European means the right to have your personal data protected by strong, European laws. Because Europeans do not like drones overhead recording their every move, or companies stockpiling their every mouse click. This is why Parliament, Council and Commission agreed in May this year a common European Data Protection Regulation. This is a strong European law that applies to companies wherever they are based and whenever they are processing your data. Because in Europe, privacy matters. This is a question of human dignity.
Being European also means a fair playing field.
This means that workers should get the same pay for the same work in the same place. This is a question of social justice. And this is why the Commission stands behind our proposal on the Posting of Workers Directive. The internal market is not a place where Eastern European workers can be exploited or subjected to lower social standards. Europe is not the Wild West, but a social market economy.
A fair playing field also means that in Europe, consumers are protected against cartels and abuses by powerful companies. And that every company, no matter how big or small, has to pay its taxes where it makes its profits. This goes for giants like Apple too, even if their market value is higher than the GDP of 165 countries in the world. In Europe we do not accept powerful companies getting illegal backroom deals on their taxes.
The level of taxation in a country like Ireland is not our issue. Ireland has the sovereign right to set the tax level wherever it wants. But it is not right that one company can evade taxes that could have gone to Irish families and businesses, hospitals and schools. The Commission watches over this fairness. This is the social side of competition law. And this is what Europe stands for.
Being European also means a culture that protects our workers and our industries in an increasingly globalised world. Like the thousands who risk losing their jobs in Gosselies in Belgium – it is thanks to EU legislation that the company will now need to engage in a true social dialogue. And workers and local authorities can count on European solidarity and the help of EU funds.
Being European also means standing up for our steel industry. We already have 37 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in place to protect our steel industry from unfair competition. But we need to do more, as overproduction in some parts of the world is putting European producers out of business. This is why I was in China twice this year to address the issue of overcapacity. This is also why the Commission has proposed to change the lesser duty rule. The United States imposes a 265% import tariff on Chinese steel, but here in Europe, some governments have for years insisted we reduce tariffs on Chinese steel. I call on all Member States and on this Parliament to support the Commission in strengthening our trade defence instruments. We should not be naïve free traders, but be able to respond as forcefully to dumping as the United States.
A strong part of our European way of life that I want to preserve is our agricultural sector. The Commission will always stand by our farmers, particularly when they go through difficult moments as is the case today. Last year, the dairy sector was hit with a ban imposed by Russia. This is why the Commission mobilised €1 billion in support of milk farmers to help them get back on their feet. Because I will not accept that milk is cheaper than water.
Being European, for most of us, also means the euro. During the global financial crisis, the euro stayed strong and protected us from even worse instability. The euro is a leading world currency, and it brings huge, often invisible economic benefits. Euro area countries saved €50 billion this year in interest payments, thanks to the European Central Bank’s monetary policy. €50 billion extra that our finance ministers can and should invest into the economy.
Mario Draghi is preserving the stability of our currency. And he is making a stronger contribution to jobs and growth than many of our Member States.
Yes, we Europeans suffered under a historic financial and debt crisis. But the truth is that while public deficits stood at 6.3% on average in the euro area in 2009, today they are below 2%.
Over the last three years, almost 8 million more people found a job. 1 million in Spain alone, a country which continues to show an impressive recovery from the crisis.
I wish all this was recalled more often – everywhere in Europe where elected politicians take the floor.
Because in our incomplete Union, there is no European leadership that can substitute national leadership.
European nations have to defend the rationale for unity. No one can do it for them.
We can be united even though we are diverse.
The great, democratic nations of Europe must not bend to the winds of populism.
Europe must not cower in the face of terrorism.
No – Member States must build a Europe that protects. And we, the European institutions, must help them deliver this promise.
A EUROPE THAT EMPOWERS
The European Union should not only preserve our European way of life but empower those living it.
We need to work for a Europe that empowers our citizens and our economy. And today, both have gone digital.
Digital technologies and digital communications are permeating every aspect of life.
All they require is access to high-speed internet. We need to be connected. Our economy needs it. People need it.
And we have to invest in that connectivity now.
That is why today, the Commission is proposing a reform for our European telecommunications markets. We want to create a new legal framework that attracts and enables investments in connectivity.
Businesses should be able to plan their investments in Europe for the next 20 years. Because if we invest in new networks and services, that is at least 1.3 million new jobs over the next decade.
Connectivity should benefit everyone.
That is why today the Commission is proposing to fully deploy 5G, the fifth generation of mobile communication systems, across the European Union by 2025. This has the potential to create a further two million jobs in the EU.
Everyone benefiting from connectivity means that it should not matter where you live or how much you earn.
So we propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020.
As the world goes digital, we also have to empower our artists and creators and protect their works.Artists and creators are our crown jewels. The creation of content is not a hobby. It is a profession. And it is part of our European culture.
I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or hyperlinked on the web.
The overhaul of Europe’s copyright rules we are proposing today does exactly that.
Empowering our economy means investing not just in connectivity, but in job creation.
That is why Europe must invest strongly in its youth, in its jobseekers, in its start-ups.
The €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe, which we agreed together here in this House just twelve months ago, has already raised €116 billion in investments – from Latvia to Luxembourg – in its first year of operation.
Over 200,000 small firms and start-ups across Europe got loans. And over 100,000 people got new jobs. Thanks to the new European Fund for Strategic Investments I proposed, my Commission developed, and you here in the European Parliament supported and adopted in record time.
And now we will take it further. Today, we propose to double the duration of the Fund and double its financial capacity.
With your support, we will make sure that our European Investment Fund will provide a total of at least €500 billion – half a trillion – of investments by 2020. And we will work beyond that to reach €630 billion by 2022. Of course, with Member States contributing, we can get there even faster.
Alongside these efforts to attract private investment, we also need to create the right environment to invest in.
European banks are in much better shape than two years ago, thanks to our joint European efforts. Europe needs its banks. But an economy almost entirely dependent on bank credit is bad for financial stability. It is also bad for business, as we saw during the financial crisis. That is why it is now urgent we accelerate our work on the Capital Markets Union. The Commission is putting a concrete roadmap for this on your table today.
A Capital Markets Union will make our financial system more resilient. It will give companies easier and more diversified access to finance. Imagine a Finnish start-up that cannot get a bank loan. Right now, the options are very limited. The Capital Markets Union will offer alternative, vital sources of funding to help start-ups get started – business angels, venture capital, market financing.
To just mention one example – almost a year ago we put a proposal on the table that will make it easier for banks to provide loans. It has the potential of freeing up €100 billion of additional finance for EU businesses. So let us please speed up its adoption.
Our European Investment Plan worked better than anyone expected inside Europe, and now we are going to take it global. Something many of you and many Member States have called for.
Today we are launching an ambitious Investment Plan for Africa and the Neighbourhood which has the potential to raise €44 billion in investments. It can go up to €88 billion if Member States pitch in.
The logic is the same that worked well for the internal Investment Plan: we will be using public funding as a guarantee to attract public and private investment to create real jobs.
This will complement our development aid and help address one of the root causes of migration. With economic growth in developing countries at its lowest level since 2003, this is crucial. The new Plan will offer lifelines for those who would otherwise be pushed to take dangerous journeys in search of a better life.
As much as we invest in improving conditions abroad, we also need to invest in responding to humanitarian crises back home. And, more than anything, we need to invest in our young people.
I cannot and will not accept that Europe is and remains the continent of youth unemployment.
I cannot and will not accept that the millennials, Generation Y, might be the first generation in 70 years to be poorer than their parents.
Of course, this is mainly a task of national governments. But the European Union can support their efforts. We are doing this with the EU Youth Guarantee that was launched three years ago. My Commission enhanced the effectiveness and sped up delivery of the Youth Guarantee. More than 9 million young people have already benefitted from this programme. That is 9 million young people who got a job, traineeship or apprenticeship because of the EU. And we will continue to roll out the Youth Guarantee across Europe, improving the skillset of Europeans and reaching out to the regions and young people most in need.
The European Union can also contribute by helping create more opportunities for young people.
There are many young, socially-minded people in Europe willing to make a meaningful contribution to society and help show solidarity.
Solidarity is the glue that keeps our Union together.
The word solidarity appears 16 times in the Treaties which all our Member States agreed and ratified.
Our European budget is living proof of financial solidarity.
There is impressive solidarity when it comes to jointly applying European sanctions when Russia violates international law.
The euro is an expression of solidarity.
Our development policy is a strong external sign of solidarity.
And when it comes to managing the refugee crisis, we have started to see solidarity. I am convinced much more solidarity is needed. But I also know that solidarity must be given voluntarily. It must come from the heart. It cannot be forced.
We often show solidarity most readily when faced with emergencies.
When the Portuguese hills were burning, Italian planes doused the flames.
When floods cut off the power in Romania, Swedish generators turned the lights back on.
When thousands of refugees arrived on Greek shores, Slovakian tents provided shelter.
In the same spirit, the Commission is proposing today to set up a European Solidarity Corps. Young people across the EU will be able to volunteer their help where it is needed most, to respond to crisis situations, like the refugee crisis or the recent earthquakes in Italy.
I want this European Solidarity Corps up and running by the end of the year. And by 2020, to see the first 100,000 young Europeans taking part.
By voluntarily joining the European Solidarity Corps, these young people will be able to develop their skills and get not only work but also invaluable human experience.
A EUROPE THAT DEFENDS
A Europe that protects is a Europe that defends – at home and abroad.
We must defend ourselves against terrorism.
Since the Madrid bombing of 2004, there have been more than 30 terrorist attacks in Europe – 14 in the last year alone. More than 600 innocent people died in cities like Paris, Brussels, Nice, or Ansbach.
Just as we have stood shoulder to shoulder in grief, so must we stand united in our response.
The barbaric acts of the past year have shown us again what we are fighting for – the European way of life. In face of the worst of humanity we have to stay true to our values, to ourselves. And what we are is democratic societies, plural societies, open and tolerant.
But that tolerance cannot come at the price of our security.
That is why my Commission has prioritised security from day one – we criminalised terrorism and foreign fighters across the EU, we cracked down on the use of firearms and on terrorist financing, we worked with internet companies to get terrorist propaganda offline and we fought radicalisation in Europe’s schools and prisons.
But there is more to be done.
We need to know who is crossing our borders.
That is why we will defend our borders with the new European Border and Coast Guard, which is now being formalised by Parliament and Council, just nine months after the Commission proposed it. Frontex already has over 600 agents on the ground at the borders with Turkey in Greece and over 100 in Bulgaria. Now, the EU institutions and the Member States should work very closely together to quickly help set up the new Agency. I want to see at least 200 extra border guards and 50 extra vehicles deployed at the Bulgarian external borders as of October.
We will defend our borders, as well, with strict controls, adopted by the end of the year, on everyone crossing them. Every time someone enters or exits the EU, there will be a record of when, where and why.
By November, we will propose a European Travel Information System – an automated system to determine who will be allowed to travel to Europe. This way we will know who is travelling to Europe before they even get here.
And we all need that information. How many times have we heard stories over the last months that the information existed in one database in one country, but it never found its way to the authority in another that could have made the difference?
Border security also means that information and intelligence exchange must be prioritised. For this, we will reinforce Europol – our European agency supporting national law enforcement – by giving it better access to databases and more resources. A counter terrorism unit that currently has a staff of 60 cannot provide the necessary 24/7 support.
A Europe that protects also defends our interests beyond our borders.
The facts are plain: The world is getting bigger. And we are getting smaller.
Today we Europeans make up 8% of the world population – we will only represent 5% in 2050. By then you would not see a single EU country among the top world economies. But the EU together? We would still be topping the charts.
Our enemies would like us to fragment.
Our competitors would benefit from our division.
Only together are we and will we remain a force to be reckoned with.
Still, even though Europe is proud to be a soft power of global importance, we must not be naïve. Soft power is not enough in our increasingly dangerous neighbourhood.
Take the brutal fight over Syria. Its consequences for Europe are immediate. Attacks in our cities by terrorists trained in Daesh camps. But where is the Union, where are its Member States, in negotiations towards a settlement?
Federica Mogherini, our High Representative and my Vice-President, is doing a fantastic job. But she needs to become our European Foreign Minister via whom all diplomatic services, of big and small countries alike, pool their forces to achieve leverage in international negotiations. This is why I call today for a European Strategy for Syria. Federica should have a seat at the table when the future of Syria is being discussed. So that Europe can help rebuild a peaceful Syrian nation and a pluralistic, tolerant civil society in Syria.
Europe needs to toughen up. Nowhere is this truer than in our defence policy.
Europe can no longer afford to piggy-back on the military might of others or let France alone defend its honour in Mali.
We have to take responsibility for protecting our interests and the European way of life.
Over the last decade, we have engaged in over 30 civilian and military EU missions from Africa to Afghanistan. But without a permanent structure we cannot act effectively. Urgent operations are delayed. We have separate headquarters for parallel missions, even when they happen in the same country or city. It is time we had a single headquarters for these operations.
We should also move towards common military assets, in some cases owned by the EU. And, of course, in full complementarity with NATO.
The business case is clear. The lack of cooperation in defence matters costs Europe between €25 billion and €100 billion per year, depending on the areas concerned. We could use that money for so much more.
It can be done. We are building a multinational fleet of air tankers. Let’s replicate this example.
For European defence to be strong, the European defence industry needs to innovate. That is why we will propose before the end of the year a European Defence Fund, to turbo boost research and innovation.
The Lisbon Treaty enables those Member States who wish, to pool their defence capabilities in the form of a permanent structured cooperation. I think the time to make use of this possibility is now. And I hope that our meeting at 27 in Bratislava a few days from now will be the first, political step in that direction.
Because it is only by working together that Europe will be able to defend itself at home and abroad.
A EUROPE THAT TAKES RESPONSIBILITY
The last point I want to make is about responsibility. About taking responsibility for building this Europe that protects.
I call on all EU institutions and on all of our Member States to take responsibility.
We have to stop with the same old story that success is national, and failure European. Or our common project will not survive.
We need to remember the sense of purpose of our Union. I therefore call on each of the 27 leaders making their way to Bratislava to think of three reasons why we need the European Union. Three things they are willing to take responsibility for defending. And that they are willing to deliver swiftly afterwards.
Slow delivery on promises made is a phenomenon that more and more risks undermining the Union’s credibility. Take the Paris agreement. We Europeans are the world leaders on climate action. It was Europe that brokered the first-ever legally binding, global climate deal. It was Europe that built the coalition of ambition that made agreement in Paris possible. But Europe is now struggling to show the way and be amongst the first to ratify our agreement. Only France, Austria and Hungary have ratified it so far.
I call on all Member States and on this Parliament to do your part in the next weeks, not months. We should be faster. Let’s get the Paris agreement ratified now. It can be done. It is a question of political will. And it is about Europe’s global influence.
The European institutions too, have to take responsibility.
I have asked each of my Commissioners to be ready to discuss, in the next two weeks, the State of our Union in the national Parliaments of the countries they each know best. Since the beginning of my mandate, my Commissioners have made over 350 visits to national Parliaments. And I want them to do this even more now. Because Europe can only be built with the Member States, never against them.
We also have to take responsibility in recognising when some decisions are not for us to take. It is not right that when EU countries cannot decide among themselves whether or not to ban the use of glyphosate in herbicides, the Commission is forced by Parliament and Council to take a decision.
So we will change those rules – because that is not democracy.
The Commission has to take responsibility by being political, and not technocratic.
A political Commission is one that listens to the European Parliament, listens to all Member States, and listens to the people.
And it is us listening that motivated my Commission to withdraw 100 proposals in our first two years of office, to present 80% fewer initiatives than over the past 5 years and to launch a thorough review of all existing legislation. Because only by focusing on where Europe can provide real added value and deliver results, we will be able to make Europe a better, more trusted place.
Being political also means correcting technocratic mistakes immediately when they happen. The Commission, the Parliament and the Council have jointly decided to abolish mobile roaming charges. This is a promise we will deliver. Not just for business travellers who go abroad for two days. Not only for the holiday maker who spends two weeks in the sun. But for our cross-border workers. And for the millions of Erasmus students who spend their studies abroad for one or two semesters. I have therefore withdrawn a draft that a well-meaning official designed over the summer. The draft was not technically wrong. But it missed the point of what was promised. And you will see a new, better draft as of next week. When you roam, it should be like at home.
Being political is also what allows us to implement the Stability and Growth Pact with common sense. The Pact’s creation was influenced by theory. Its application has become a doctrine for many. And today, the Pact is a dogma for some. In theory, a single decimal point over 60 percent in a country’s debt should be punished. But in reality, you have to look at the reasons for debt. We should try to support and not punish ongoing reform efforts. For this we need responsible politicians. And we will continue to apply the Pact not in a dogmatic manner, but with common sense and with the flexibility that we wisely built into the rules.
Finally, taking responsibility also means holding ourselves accountable to voters. That is why we will propose to change the absurd rule that Commissioners have to step down from their functions when they want to run in European elections. The German Chancellor, the Czech, Danish or Estonian, Prime Minister do not stop doing their jobs when they run for re-election. Neither should Commissioners. If we want a Commission that responds to the needs of the real world, we should encourage Commissioners to seek the necessary rendez-vous with democracy. And not prevent this.
I am as young as the European project that turns 60 next years in March 2017.
I have lived it, worked for it, my whole life.
My father believed in Europe because he believed in stability, workers’ rights and social progress.
Because he understood all too well that peace in Europe was precious – and fragile.
I believe in Europe because my father taught me those same values.
But what are we teaching our children now? What will they inherit from us? A Union that unravels in disunity? A Union that has forgotten its past and has no vision for the future?
Our children deserve better.
They deserve a Europe that preserves their way of life.
They deserve a Europe that empowers and defends them.
They deserve a Europe that protects.
It is time we – the institutions, the governments, the citizens – all took responsibility for building that Europe. Together.